Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Feetwashing and Protest

I thought I posted this days ago, but it turns out I posted it to the wrong blog.

This past summer, while working for a nonprofit called Pace e Bene, I had the opportunity to converse with Father Louie Vitale, a Catholic priest and social activist who started the organization twenty years ago. He was talking about a vigil he'd attended at a military base in the southwest many years earlier, and the religious elements that were made elements of the action.

The protesters divided into two groups, one of which crossed onto the military base to be arrested and one which stayed behind to be a continuing witness. From just outside the line that marked the beginning of government property, a group of Episcopalians gave communion to their friends who had chosen to cross over. But what Father Louie said was the thing that most struck him was a group of Brethren, who set a bench across the line and knealt to wash the feet of those who were about to be arrested. That image has been a powerful memory to him even to this day, twenty or thirty years later.

It wasn't until after he told that story that he remembered I was Brethren. How glad I am to see our quiet witness making such lasting impressions.

No comments: